Anna Hunter - Women of Inspiration 2019

Turning Point Scotland

"Watching clients progress from initially accessing the service for an assessment, to maintaining stabilisation, gaining confidence and personal development is really rewarding and motivates me to work to the best of my ability for those who I support"

Anna is an inspirational young woman; her actions result in lives being positively changed or saved. Aged 21, Anna volunteered with Think Pacific, travelling to Batiki Island, 4-hours from mainland Fiji, to support rural villages. An active villager, she lived with locals with only basic resources and no electricity to support the economic-growth of the community. Anna also worked at the school teaching, coaching and inspiring local children. Her chosen career to work in substance misuse meant evenings of volunteering before securing a role as an Addictions Practitioner; a challenging role supporting people to manage their drug/alcohol misuse by offering confidential support and therapeutic interventions. People with addictions are often viewed with hostility, but not to Anna who builds positive relationships, offering support as well as constructive criticism. Anna is very community-minded, never turning her back on those facing adversity.

Please describe what the company does

Turning Point Scotland provide person centred services across the country to adults who have complex needs that include:

  • Substance misuse

  • Learning disabilities

  • Mental health problems

  • Homelessness

  • Criminal justice

  • Early onset dementia

  • Huntington’s disease. 

Within The North East Edinburgh Recovery Service, we work with people affected by drug and alcohol problems, supporting them to take steps towards recovery. Each client is assigned a key worker who supports them achieve goals with the aim of increasing their psychological well-being in the process. The service offers a group work programme - Mindfulness, Ear Acupuncture, SMART Recovery, cooking classes. Peer Support meetings are another beneficial aspect of the service, they are led by a practitioner who has previously experienced substance misuse problems. 

We provide Injecting Equipment Provision, Blood Borne Virus checks and Take-Home Naloxone, these are all essential within our harm reduction approach.   

Please describe what your current role within the company is

I’m currently a Lead Practitioner at The North East Recovery Service. I manage a caseload and provide one-to-one support for individuals who need support with their drug and alcohol use. Within this role, I assess service users, implement recovery plans and provide ongoing psycho-social interventions. 

Please tell us about what inspires you, and what this award means to you

My clients inspire me. Watching clients progress from initially accessing the service for an assessment, to maintaining stabilisation, gaining confidence and personal development. I find this really rewarding and it motivates me to work to the best of my ability for those who I support. 

It is a real privilege to receive this award both as an individual but for the work performed by those in Substance Misuse Services.

Substance Misuse Services are not normally recognised at award ceremonies such as this. It is an honour to be recognised by this group – we do not create employment opportunities, we do not generate income for individuals, but what we do is help people who need our support to provide hope that identifying, setting and achieving goals is possible.